Alan Zinter, in his major league career, had a grand total of 84 plate appearances. That is a number that can be looked at one of two ways. As a former first round pick of the New York Mets back in 1989, a lot more was expected of him. Meanwhile, as a player who spent fourteen seasons in the minors before reaching the major leagues, the fact that he received 84 plate appearances is a testament to his perseverance and determination.
It is that perseverance that allowed the 19 year minor league veteran to pursue his goal of reaching the majors as a player. Having retired at the age of 39, after spending the 2007 season playing for the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League, Zinter got into coaching. Once again, he started in a place he had become quite familiar with – the minor leagues.
This time, Alan Zinter’s trek to the majors took far less time. After spending the past three seasons as the Cleveland Indians minor league hitting coordinator, Zinter was hired by the Houston Astros to be their assistant hitting coach. As the Astros gave Zinter his first chance at the majors as a player, it is fitting that they also gave him his first major league coaching job.
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Given his journey to the majors as a player, and the brief stint that he had, Zinter knows that his time as a major league coach is not guaranteed. Yet, that is not going to stop him from making the most of the opportunity. If passion for baseball and determination can help make Zinter a successful coach, then he may find his time in the majors go far beyond the 67 games he had in his playing career.
"“There’s no guarantees how long I’ll be in the big leagues, but it’s baseball and I enjoy it. Obviously, I would like to make an impact at the highest level as a coach and continue to do that,” Zinter said."
Now, with the Houston Astros, Alan Zinter is going to get that chance. Perhaps this was not the career he envisioned when he was selected 24th overall in 1989, but all of his trials and tribulations in the minor leagues have prepared him for this opportunity.